Every season presents its own set of unique marketing opportunities and challenges. As we move into fall and winter, it’s important to understand how the modern Canadian consumer thinks and acts. In this blog, we’ll discuss the profile of the Canadian consumer, ways to get their attention, and strategies to align your marketing efforts.
Understanding the Canadian Consumer
The Canadian consumer used to be more predictable and showed consistent habits and preferences. But times have changed. Global challenges and shifts in our economy have reshaped how the average Canadian shops and what makes them tick:
- Environmentally Conscious: Canadian consumers are now more conscious of their carbon footprint. They make choices based on the impact it has on the environment.
- Digital-First Shopping: A growing number of Canadians now prefer online shopping. In fact, Canada’s e-commerce sales are predicted to grow at a steady rate of 5.61% from 2021 to 2025. The benefits are many, like convenience, more choices, and the option to compare products and prices from the comfort of one’s home.
- Local over Global: While international brands have become popular, there’s a growing trend to support and buy locally.
- Valuing Uniqueness: There’s a preference for items that tell a story or offer something different from the mainstream. Things like artisanal crafts, limited edition products, or bespoke services are picking up steam.
- Community Connection: The importance of community continues to be a cornerstone of Canadian culture. Now more than ever, Canadians prioritize community events and support the businesses that are involved in them.
Gen-Z: The now Generation
Aged 9 to 24, Generation Z is on track to represent a third of the global population. They’re shaping our world, from culture to tech and work. While they have similarities with the average Canadian consumer you just read about, they also showcase unique traits. Let’s break them down:
- Authenticity matters: They care, a lot. Gen Z appreciates brands that are transparent and communicate their values.
- They don’t just live online: While they are digitally savvy, Gen Z also enjoy physical communication and interactions. A multi-channel approach is the way to go.
- The Mailbox makes a comeback: For Gen Z, physical mail holds a certain charm. Surprisingly, they invest more time in it than other generations and value its contents. If your business doesn’t do mail, you might want to rethink your approach.
- They’re not entirely unique: Gen Z has distinct preferences but shares similarities with other generations. Don’t exclude them from your regular campaigns and communications.
- Yet, distinctly Gen Z: Understand and cater to their preferences. They value things like fair treatment of employees, responsible product sourcing and sustainability.
Fall and Winter Marketing Strategies to try
Now that you understand who the Canadian consumer is, let’s discuss some marketing strategies you can use to appeal to them this fall and winter.
1. The Power of Festivity
October through December is packed with festivities like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and the New Year. Most customers celebrate, or at least recognize, these holidays in one form or another. Use these events as inspiration for your campaigns, advertisements and social media content.
Festive seasons often create strong emotional responses. Whether it’s the joy of gift-giving, family reunions, or the hope that comes with the New Year. Tap into these emotions with your marketing efforts to make it more memorable and impactful.
2. Sales and Discounts
With the holiday season approaching, it’s time to roll out special offers and discounts. This works well if you align them with themes like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or Boxing Day. Create a sense of urgency with limited-time offers and highlight the savings they can bring.
- On Black Friday, consider ‘doorbuster deals’ early in the morning. Or on Cyber Monday, do flash sales, like ‘deal of the hour’. Strategies like these can keep customers on their toes, constantly checking in to see what’s new.
- Holidays are about gifting, and what’s better than a bundle of products at a discounted rate? Boxing Day can be an excellent time to offer bundled products, giving customers the feeling of getting more for their money.
3. Social Media Content
Leverage the holiday season to engage consumers with interactive content. Consider running holiday-themed contests, quizzes, or polls on your social media platforms. It can boost user engagement and increase the visibility of your brand.
User-generated content can be a powerful force too. Encourage your followers to share their special moments with a brand-specific hashtag. It’ll build an active community and provide you with content to highlight and share.
4. Sharing Your Story
Storytelling is a powerful tool in the hands of the right marketer. Build your story around the essence of the season and tap into the core values of the Canadian consumer. Talk about the roots of your brand, why it was started, and the journey so far.
Consider sharing testimonials highlighting how your products or services have positively impacted your customers and the ways you support the community.
Not sure where to start? Check out our recent blog on storytelling.
5. Always Think Digital First
Physical transactions have their place, but the digital marketplace is growing fast. If your business isn’t online yet, then make it your priority. Consider affordable platforms like Shopify or social commerce through Instagram or Facebook shops.
Once you’re online, focus on improving the digital experience for customers. Rely on things like email marketing to send personalized newsletters and offers to your subscribers. And always think mobile first, that’s how most people shop. In early 2022, 60% of Canadians made online purchases using mobile phones, while 25% used tablets.
The Bottom Line
Adapting your marketing strategies for the fall and winter seasons requires a strong understanding of consumer behaviour, some creativity, and a connection with your audience. A connection that’s beyond the superficial. Understand their needs and deliver an experience that resonates with their values. The consumer of today isn’t the consumer of yesterday. So, stay updated with current trends and avoid old habits.